FIG Peer Review Journal


Student Perceptions of Surveying and Built Environment Professional Bodies: An International Comparison (3797)

Sara Wilkinson and Richard Reed (Australia)
Ms. Sara Wilkinson
Senior Lecturer
Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway
Corresponding author Ms. Sara Wilkinson (email: s.wilkinson[at], tel.: + 61 3 9251 7047)

[ abstract ] [ paper ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2010-01-14
Received 2009-11-19 / Accepted 2010-01-14
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Congress 2010 in Sydney, Australia and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Congress 2010
ISBN 978-87-90907-87-7 ISSN 2308-3441


A new generation of members are needed for professional bodies in the built environment and surveying in order for them to survive and thrive in the 21st century. Wilkinson and Zillante (2006) identified issues of under recruitment and an ageing membership in the Building Surveying profession in Australia; however other built environment professional bodies globally are experiencing similar issues. Not only do professional bodies need to recruit student members into the profession during their studies but they need to convert these student members to full members after graduation. Warren and Wilkinson’s (2008) survey of 661 Australian students perceptions of built environment professional bodies showed that students value professional qualifications but that there is a lack of understanding of the role of professional bodies. The second stage of this research examined the perceptions of Australian employers of surveying, property and construction students and graduates and membership of professional bodies. The research sought to identify what measures are currently adopted in terms of encouraging professional body membership in the workplace. This paper presents the results of the employer interviews and reveals another perspective of the critical issue for professional institutions globally. This paper presents the third stage of the research which broadened the original student survey to include students studying surveying and built environment courses from a number of developed and developing countries. The aim of the research was to establish whether students have different perceptions of professional body membership either as a result of country of domicile, gender, age, course of study, or mode of study. The results of the surveys are reported in this paper along with the implications for professional bodies.
Keywords: Professional practice; Education; Australia; built environment professional bodies; students; graduates